We are right in the middle of a special dining event in Southwest Florida where part of the proceeds go to feeding hungry children. Sizzle Dining Restaurant Week actually encompasses 20 days. Last week I shared an experience at A Table Apart in Bonita Springs. However, over the weekend I picked a Sizzle Dining stop on Sanibel Island and want to share it for Monday Funday. I dined at the impeccable Cielo on Sanibel Island. The island is still in major recovery mode after Hurricane Ian. Only two restaurants are participating in this year’s event. Tutti Pazzi Italian Kitchen is the other one.

It’s been a minute since I’ve crossed the causeway that was impassable in the days and weeks after Hurricane Ian. Repairs are coming along nicely but it is still hard to see. I have so many great memories of cookouts, parties and stealing moments of peace on those causeway beaches. I know many people who have put off going to the island because they’re not ready to see the damage and destruction left behind by the storm.

If you are one of them, Cielo is just a couple of blocks in. And the restaurant looks amazing! The interior is beautiful, the building is OK, the staff gives impeccable service, and their Sizzle menu is great. For me, it was important to support island establishments that have been suffering even more during this slow season.  Coincidentally, the Sizzle staff was also dining at Cielo when I was there.

More than 50 restaurants are participating in Sizzle Dining this year. Each one puts together their own two, three and four course pre-fix meals for prices that begin at $19 for lunch. The idea of this restaurant event is three-fold. First, to get locals into restaurants that are typically starving in the slow month of September. Second, to entice diners to try new restaurants through special pre-fix menus that won’t break the bank. Finally, and perhaps best of all, to support food insecure children in Lee and Collier Counties through Blessings in a Backpack.

Here are some delish photos from my Sizzle Dining stop on Sanibel Island.

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